In any story, a character must do something. A character who just bobs along on the current of everyone else’s actions and decisions isn’t worthy of being in your story, and definitely isn’t worthy of leading your story.

Even if this character reminds you of someone you know in real life, the needs of a good story will be in direct conflict with a completely passive character. So your characters must do something. And their reason for acting must have clear and believable motivation.

One of Newton’s Laws is that an object at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Humans can be a bit that way as well. There are lots of times we’ll laze around unless something motivates us and forces us into action.

This is particularly true when the needed action involves overcoming obstacles (which can be challenging, and scary, and painful—all things we tend to resist). The motivation you provide for your character must be sufficiently strong for readers to believe it would keep this person on this path of action.

Listen to the episode to discover five common character motivations that will get your character moving!

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